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A Wealth of Experience

By Mary Carpenter | Photos by Jessica McCafferty


In 2020, when one of the two North Country’s Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) physicians announced his retirement, patients were worried about access to care. There was no time to waste. A recruitment company hired by the retiring physician’s management team initiated a nation-wide search. Among the many modes of messaging about the vacancy was electronic media. Blast emails were everywhere. One of those emails popped up on the computer of a board-certified Otolaryngologist physician and surgeon with more than 20 years’ experience, Dr. Angela Powell. “I was surprised,” she commented. “My computer was set up to block those types of communications, but somehow that one got through.”


After reviewing the message, Powell was curious. She reached out to the recruiter and learned a little more. It sounded like the position had possibilities, but she needed additional information. The best way to get it? Go to the source. A road trip to Plattsburgh provided much of what she was looking for. “I loved the rural setting and was impressed with the area and the medical community,” she observed. “I was engaged and my future husband and I thought this opportunity might be the perfect start to the next chapter in our lives. I’ve always been a lover of the cold, snow and mountains and had a lifetime dream to have my own practice. I came to believe the North Country could be an ideal location for my practice and our forever home.


Powell initiated the process to establish a corporate entity with new insurance contracts. She identified a practice location; banking relationships were finalized, equipment was ordered, IT services were installed, and a space redo was begun. She opened Plattsburgh ENT 16 months ago.


Now that I have introduced you to Dr. Angela Powell, let me share more information about this amazing woman.


A Maryland native, Powell earned her undergraduate degree from Spelman College in Atlanta, attended medical school at Northwestern University in Chicago and did her residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. “My initial goal was to become a neurosurgeon, but the more I learned about neurosurgery, the more I realized it was an all-consuming profession,” she explained. “I was a wife and a new mom with a young son at the time and I wanted to give my family the attention they deserved while, at the same time, fulfilling my dream to be a subspecialty surgeon.” A medical student rotation in otolaryngology provided the direction to a new and fulfilling career path.


When her residency training was complete in 2006, Powell entered active-duty service in the U.S. Navy and was stationed at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego. The following year she deployed with the USNS ship Comfort on a humanitarian mission providing care to dozens of Central and South American countries. Over the years, she served at the Naval Hospital Camp Lejune in North Carolina and the Naval Hospitals in Jacksonville and Pensacola, Florida. While in Jacksonville, she was nominated for the Military Health System Female Physician Leader of the Year Award twice and ranked as a top five Navy finalist. One award after another followed in recognition of her dedication to her profession and her devotion to patients.


Always striving to learn more and give more, Powell completed the requirements to achieve the Executive Medicine Advanced Qualification Designator, co-directed the Command’s First Lean In Circle women’s leadership group and was promoted to the rank of Commander. Her exceptional contributions and leadership at NHJAX were acknowledged when she received the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal. Her next move was to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland where she earned a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and a Joint Service Commendation Medal.


Powell completed her active-duty tours in 2019, transitioned to the Navy Reserves and accepted a position at the Guthrie Medical Group in Corning, New York. Over the next two years, she also served as Chair of the Otolaryngology section of the National Medical Association, as the first African American to Chair the Women in Otolaryngology section of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and was President of the Harry Barnes Medical Society. It was while she was at Guthrie that news of the Plattsburgh opening crossed her computer screen.


Plattsburgh ENT’s office is located in a multi-unit complex just west of the city that is home to a number of health care professionals. Powell’s office is large and welcoming. It is clear that much thought and effort went into creating a peaceful, spa-like environment for both adult and pediatric patients. The colors are soft, the textures are interesting and the walls are lined with a collection of photos, many of them taken by Powell. “I’ve set up the office in a way that allows my patients to see a reflection of who I am – to immerse themselves in the culture and climate I’ve created. I love what I do. It is important to me to be able to give each patient the time and attention they need.”


In addition to exam rooms, the office has a state-of-the-art procedure room. “I prefer to perform procedures like needle biopsies, sinus and Eustachian tube balloon dilation, and ear tubes, in the office, if possible,” she offered. She also works in the operating rooms at CVPH to perform sinus and head and neck surgeries.


Powell provides a number of services including diagnosis and treatment of recurrent ear and throat infections, pediatric neck masses, chronic sinusitis, nasal masses or polyps and sinus surgery, hoarseness and swallowing disorders, head and neck cancers, and allergy testing and treatment among others. “I find treating a complex patient exhilarating,” she exclaimed. “I appreciate that, despite the short time we have been in practice, patients are coming in from referrals by colleagues and through word-of-mouth recommendations.


Establishing her practice has been a huge learning curve for Powell. “I don’t have an MBA and medical school doesn’t teach you much about how to run a business, but I’ve been at it long enough now that everything is coming together.” Despite the challenges, she knows she made the right decision. “My practice allows me to develop long term care relationships with patients and provide Holistic care.

Asked about changes in health care over her professional career, Powell called it a “knowledge explosion.” “When I started college, I didn’t have a personal computer or email. Computers were in the computer lab for writing term papers. We used books for our classes. In medical school and residency, x-ray images were still on film. Electronic medical records were still in development. The major advancements in technology in the past few years could not have been imagined even a decade ago.”


And then I asked about Angela Powell, the private person. I learned she sings!! “I began to sing at open mic events while I was stationed at Walter Reed as a way to be an anonymous vocalist and try out jazz, a genre I have never formally trained to sing. I loved it,” she offered. Her special talent is gospel vocals she started singing as a toddler. Madrigals, reminiscent of barber shop quartet pieces she sang in high school, are also a love language for Powell. She dabbled for a year or so performing with a Christian rock band while living in North Carolina. The gift of a karaoke mic and speaker from her husband has encouraged her to continue practicing at home.


Despite her busy schedule, Powell finds time to mentor high school and college students and to participate in panel discussions designed to recruit medical students from minority populations. “When I started my career, there weren’t many people, especially women, who looked like me in the field. I am happy to do my part to open doors for the next generation.”


Dr. Angela Powell is a powerhouse. Her commitment to the community, to her profession and to finding ways to expand access to medical care for under served populations is the essence of who she is. The North Country scored a huge win when she chose to open her practice in our region.


Plattsburgh ENT

79 Hammond Lane, Suite 12

Plattsburgh, NY 12901

518 566-7930





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